I am not perfect. In fact, I make it a point to tell people that I am incredibly flawed. I’m only human, after all. And humans make mistakes. I have found that although I make errors in my endeavors, I always learn something more about the task I am working on and about myself. This discovery is especially true of my writing. I have grown tremendously since my first few attempts, and it’s fascinating to look back and see how I’ve changed.
Today’s fortune comes from a quote by novelist and poet James Joyce, author of Ulysses—a difficult book to digest due to the varied writing styles Joyce employs. The original full quote is:
For those who read the book, congratulations! You can now cross that off your bucket list and have a warm beverage to soothe your nerves. Many readers can’t make it through Ulysses. They have a hard time understanding the symbolic parallels drawn from mythology, history, and other writings. Before long, they agree with another of Joyce’s quotes, “Life is too short to read a bad book.”
Some surmise that his writing is full of errors according to today’s writing standards. The last chapter alone is a long and arduous expulsion of thoughts by Molly, one of the main characters, with barely any punctuation. In our current publishing industry, a work like Ulysses would end up buried in a slush pile or thrown into the trash.
James Joyce creates a single literary version of almost every writing device, point of view, style, and theme throughout the eras. His book is an experiment in literary discovery. Readers who want to finish the book accept the inconsistencies, twisted metaphors, and complex and explicit text to see what comes out of it and to have a laugh if they get the jokes—if they don’t, at least they can read the annotations to help them along.
I don’t write as well as James Joyce, but then again, I’m not him. I may never be as renowned a writer as Joyce, either. I can only write what my heart beats, and my lungs exhale. My journey is very different than his, and I am content with that, even if I make a few mistakes along the way. Those mistakes make me examine what I’ve done and how I can improve. Of course, I may never find the answers to those questions, but that’s okay too. We leave some of life’s mysteries for those that come after us.
My writing journey isn’t completely foolproof, but sometimes getting a little lost along the way leads to great discoveries. If it’s enough to spark interest in others, they may follow my odyssey for years to come.